I now rent out my house. Do I need to tell the insurance company?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jul 15, 2021

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If you have a homeowners policy, it means you are living in the home. If the home is now rented to someone else because of your divorce, you need to amend your insurance to a rental dwelling policy. This covers the home to reflect the different insurance exposures for rental property. You need to talk to your insurance agent and let him know the home is now rented. The agent may want a copy of the lease agreement.

You also need to let your agent know if it is being rented furnished, and if so, you need to be sure you properly insure those items. However, any furnishings in the rented home will not be covered for theft. You need to be sure you have enough insurance if the home cannot be occupied due to a covered loss (fire, vandalism, etc). This is called loss of rents. It is often included in a rental policy, but be sure the amount of protection is sufficient to protect you if the home becomes uninhabitable due to a fire or other loss.

You should also be sure you have proper liability protection for the new liability exposure, such as libel, slander or wrongful eviction, also known as personal injury. This is relatively inexpensive but well worth it now that you are a landlord.

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